PM Modi meets President Vladimir Putin, says Russia an ‘integral friend’ of India

Modi expressed his gratitude to President Putin and people of Russia for conferring Russia's highest civilian award 'Order of St Andrew the Apostle' award on him. "This demonstrates the friendly relations between the people of our two countries. It's a matter of honour for the 1.3 billion Indians," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Russia Wednesday morning, met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum and discussed ways to further cement the special and privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

“This is a historical occasion to give a new dimension to the cooperation between the two countries,” Modi said in his opening remarks at the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit on the sidelines of the EEF, which Russia has hosted since 2015 to boost partnerships with Asian countries.

Modi said Russia is an “integral friend and trustworthy partner” of India as he praised President Putin’s personal efforts on expanding the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. “On many occasions, I have spoken to you over telephone to discuss several issues and I have never felt any hesitation,” Prime Minister Modi told Putin.

Modi expressed his gratitude to President Putin and people of Russia for conferring Russia’s highest civilian award ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle’ award on him. “This demonstrates the friendly relations between the people of our two countries. It’s a matter of honour for the 1.3 billion Indians,” he said.

Modi thanked Putin for inviting him to the EEF, saying it is “a matter of great respect.”

Modi, who is on Russia for two days, visited the Zvezda shipbuilding complex. In a special gesture, President Putin accompanied Prime Minister Modi to the Zvezda shipyard. The two leaders hugged and shook hands before their departure for the shipyard. “During our visit, President Putin showed me cutting edge technologies at the shipyard. My visit opens up new pathways of cooperation in this important field,” Modi said after his visit to the shipbuilding complex.

At the shipyard, Modi interacted with the management and workers of the plant.

Earlier this morning, Modi was warmly welcomed at Vladivostok airport on his third bilateral visit to Russia. “Landed in Vladivostok, capital of the Russian Far East and the crossroads of a dynamic region. Looking forward to joining various programmes in this short but important visit,” Modi tweeted at 05.09 am IST.

On September 5, Modi will attend the Eastern Economic Forum as chief guest and hold bilateral talks with several leaders on the sidelines. He and Putin will also visit an international judo championship in Vladivostok in which a six-member Indian team is participating, Gokhale said. He said a number of agreements, including in the coal mining and power sectors, are expected to be firmed up during Modi’s visit.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “PM Narendra Modi was warmly welcomed at Vladivostok airport on his 3rd bilateral visit to Russia. Over the next 2 days, bilateral meeting with President Putin, participation at Eastern Economic Forum & meetings with other world leaders on the agenda.”

Before departing for Russia, Modi said he looked forward to discussing regional and international issues of mutual interest with President Putin. Modi also said his visit underlines the desire of the two countries to diversity and further strengthen bilateral relations.

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